Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every week of the women's college basketball season.
To be blunt, 2016 hasn't been a great year for Duke's women's basketball program. The Blue Devils finished 20-12 last season and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1994. Duke also fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 1999.
After the season, sophomore standout Azura Stevens transferred to UConn, and freshman Angela Salvadores left Duke as well. The Duke administration conducted what was referred to as an "evaluation" of coach Joanne P. McCallie and the program during the spring.
In early May, it was announced that McCallie would remain in her position -- her contract runs through the 2018-19 season -- but there was still uncertainty about how the Blue Devils would respond to everything that had happened.
However, junior guard Rebecca Greenwell said she felt from the start of this season that Duke had a chance to be a very good team. Sunday in Durham, North Carolina, the Blue Devils pulled one of the more notable upsets thus far, and Greenwell led the way.
Duke beat No. 3 South Carolina 74-63, and Greenwell earned espnW player of the week honors after a 29-point performance. She made 9 of 15 shots from the field -- going 4-of-7 from 3-point range -- and was 7-of-8 from the line against the previously unbeaten Gamecocks.
"I don't think I've ever wanted to win a game as much as I did tonight," Greenwell said. "But I'm just really proud of how we had a full team effort. Everyone did special things. The defensive side of the game for us was just incredible."
Two years ago, when Greenwell was a freshman, Duke nearly beat South Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But a buzzer-beater from then-freshman A'ja Wilson gave the Gamecocks a 51-50 victory. Then last season in Columbia, South Carolina, the Gamecocks beat Duke 66-55.
The Blue Devils have had their struggles against ranked teams; prior to Sunday, they had lost eight in a row against Top 25 teams dating back to last season.
But Duke is now 9-1 -- the loss was at Vanderbilt on Nov. 20 -- and Sunday's victory was by far the Blue Devils' most impressive this season.
On Thursday, Greenwell had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists in a 68-32 dismantling of Rutgers. She is averaging 21.6 points and 6.3 rebounds this season and is shooting 44 percent (36-of-82) from behind the arc.
Also considered: Keyona Hayes, Miami; Alexis Jones, Baylor; Maria Martianez, Oral Roberts; Jessica Thomas, Miami